Clear and Present Strangers: The Clash of Civilizations and International Conflict

4 Pages
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Department
Political Science
Course Code
Political Science 3314E
Professor
Radoslav Dimitrov

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Description
Clear and Present Strangers The Clash of Civilizations and International Conflict To evaluate the empirical accuracy of Huntingtons claims we examined the relationship between civilization membership and interstate war between 1816 and 1992 We find that civilization membership was not significantly associated with the onset of interstate war during the Cold War era 19461988 which is consistent with one aspect of Huntingtons thesis however we also find that for the preCold war period 18161945 states of similar civilizations were more likely to fight each other than were those of different civilizations this contradicts Huntingtons thesis Most importantly there analysis reveals that during the postcold war era 19891992 the period in which Huntington contends that the clash of civilizations should be more apparent civilization membership was not significantly associated with the probability of interstate war The findings here challenge Huntingtons claims and seriously undermine the policy recommendations that devolve from his clash of civilizations thesis Animosity among ethnic groups is beginning to rival the spread of nuclear weapons as the most serious threat to peace that the world faces According to Huntington the CoC has emerged in the post cold war era as a result of several factors including 1 the increased interaction among peoples different civilizations 2 the dewesternization and indigenization of elites in non western states 3 increased economic regionalization which heightens civilizations consciousness 4 a global resurgence of religious identity which is replacing diminishing local and statebased identities Since civilization characteristics are basic and essential civilization differences are increasingly likely to generate conflict The result is that cultural factors have replaced ideological ones as the major source of conflict in world politics The central defining characteristic of a civilization is its religion hence the major civilizations in human history have been closely identified with the worlds religions These include Sinic Japanese Hindu Islamic Orthodox Western Latin American Buddhist and possibly African civilizationsIntercivilizational clashes are usually conflicts between peoples of different religions
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